Rick Martinez had never hit a home run in orange and white entering Sunday’s rubber match with Florida. With Tennessee trailing 4-1 and two runners on in the seventh, he couldn’t have picked a better time.
On a 2-1 count the Vols junior breathed life into Tennessee sending one over the wall in left, tying the game at four all. Later in the inning Jay Charleston brought in the go-ahead run on a ground ball to second that allowed Connor Pavolony to score giving the Vols a 5-4 lead. That score would stay through nine complete.
With Sunday’s victory, Tennessee secured its second straight series win in Gainesville after also taking two of three games from the Gators in 2017. The Vols have now won six road games in SEC play this season after winning just three last year.
Tennessee had been projected to make the NCAA tournament in the last few months but dropping five of their last six conference games – prior to their series with Florida – including a series sweep by Arkansas dropped the Vols in the projection.
Tennessee plays host to Tennessee Tech on Tuesday before their final regular season series of the season begins Thursday as the Ole Miss rebels come to Knoxville.